4 leading practices for delivering business through the cloud

GettyImages/ Thomas Barwick

Connect with state & local government leaders
 

Connecting state and local government leaders

An effective, well-governed cloud migration will strengthen foundational cloud capabilities and enable agencies to rapidly deliver the service improvements that have the highest impact on mission success.

Cloud computing is the centerpiece of government IT modernization, with migrations underway as agencies prioritize remediating technical debt and upgrading aging infrastructure. These cloud migration and adoption initiatives will likely accelerate as reforms streamline the security authorization process and vendors shift to as-a-service models. But is it really worth it?

Despite the promise of cloud and its accelerated adoption, agency leaders and technical professionals continue to wrestle with this question and many more. In particular, they struggle to identify which candidates are ripe for cloud migration and how best to estimate and communicate the costs and value of moving to the cloud.

The answers to these important questions will inform future cloud strategies, priorities and investments, so agencies cannot afford to execute their cloud agenda without them. Here are four leading practices technology leaders can rely on to deliver business value through the cloud:

1. Use cloud landing zones to implement a governance foundation that enables migration and innovation at scale.

A cloud landing zone is a standardized, pre-configured environment that supports workloads across multi-account environments.

It provides the tooling and controls required for governance at scale by centralizing and automating account management, budget and cost management as well as security, risk and compliance. A landing zone also typically includes a standardized service catalog and automations that facilitate the provisioning of secured cloud services, monitoring, identity, access management and other security tools.

Robust and thoughtfully configured landing zones can enhance cloud environment scalability, security and provisioning cycle times as well as reduce cloud operational costs, manual effort and risk to performance and operational resilience. Moreover, a landing zone is required to provide the standardized governance required for a large-scale migration program.

2. Rationalize application portfolios and sequence migration efforts to land the most accretive workloads in the cloud.
Cloud managers should collaborate with C-suite leaders, product line managers and other team members across the agency who have knowledge of the existing application portfolios and who have insight into budgeted investments in new workloads.

In addition, IT managers should leverage available enterprise architecture resources and consider the business impact of workloads that are migration candidates. A business impact analysis can also help assess the criticality of business processes and applications by indicating a migration candidate’s importance to mission success. This information, in turn, should drive decisions about migration priority and strategy. While there are a host of other criteria to help prioritize cloud migrations, these steps will give agencies insights to help them identify the most likely candidates to move first.

3. Develop architecture, business case and approach when planning migrations.

Cloud migration is an engineering activity, but it requires investment, so consideration of business benefits, risks, costs and ROI are required to optimize decisions and priorities. 

Cloud migration business cases should be based on architectural due diligence and provide advice about the cost of workload migrations, workload cloud operations and on-premise operations – including often overlooked costs, like those associated with facilities, power, administrative services, environmental controls and parallel transition operations. When agencies are employing technology business management principles, business case development should weigh heavily on TBM analytics for all allocated costs estimates.

The business case should also quantify benefits to be garnered through migration, like improved operational resiliency, lower security breach risks, better continuity of operations, adherence to recovery time and recovery point objectives and improved application availability. Additional advantages might include higher staff productivity and better business agility as measured, for example, by the number of features delivered per release or release cycle time reductions.

Agencies should also consider commitments related to on-prem resource decommissioning and cloud cost-control responsibility when evaluating the veracity of each business case.

4. Continuously monitor and optimize cloud usage and economics.

Agencies should capture cloud cost and consumption data to make certain the promised ROI and benefits of workload migrations are achieved. 

For example, consistent review of cloud costs and performance will ensure migrated workloads are meeting business objectives. Agencies should also regularly review of cloud service provider products and pricing to make sure cloud investments are made in the most economically viable way.

In addition, agencies should leverage FinOps best practices to bring finance, technology and business together to track and optimize resource utilization, bring accountability to application teams through the use of defensible data and enable show-back and charge-back for migrated application cloud services.

As cloud adoption proceeds, optimization will become necessary. The benefits of elastic resources usage and pay-as-you-go pricing models must be monitored, and savings must be nurtured if they are to be maintained.

Now is the time for agencies to implement an effective, well-governed cloud migration approach that will strengthen foundational cloud capabilities and enable them to rapidly deliver the service improvements that have the highest impact on mission success. These business practices are key to a successful transition, and well worth the time and effort.

Brian Reynolds is a Principal with Grant Thornton Public Sector, specializing in Technology and Transformation Cloud Solutions.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.